This mufti-denominational cookie is based on my mom’s Hanukkah cookie recipe. I added some grated orange zest to heighten the fruity notes. The nuts are optional, but I love the crunch of nuts in cookies.
You can soften the butter in the microwave for about 10 seconds if you forgot to leave it out to soften! Crush nuts by pulsing in the food processor or rolling them with a rolling pin as my mom did. They should be tiny, but not pulverized into powder.
Makes about 30 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tb orange juice
1/4 tsp finely grated orange zest (the orange part of the peel)
3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/8 tsp salt (or a couple of shakes)
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup crushed walnuts and/ or pecans
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add orange juice and zest and beat again.
Sift dry ingredients together and then mix until combined with the moist ingredients. Stir in nuts until incorporated into the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375◦.
Lightly flour a wooden board and the rolling pin. Grab a few handfuls of dough and roll it out to about 1/8 inch. Dip cookie cutters in flour, then shake out, to prevent the dough from sticking on them, and then cut out shapes.
Spray an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick spray or oil the sheet. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar sprinkles or a bit of table sugar to make them sparkle. Bake the cookies at 375◦ for about 10 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container.